For evaluation of the undrained thermo-poro-elastic properties of saturated porous materials in conventional triaxial cells, it is important to take into account the effect of the dead volume of the drainage system. The compressibility and the thermal expansion of the drainage system along with the dead volume of the fluid filling this system, influence the measured pore pressure and volumetric strain during undrained thermal or mechanical loading in a triaxial cell.A correction method is presented in this paper to correct these effects during an undrained isotropic compression test or an undrained heating test. A parametric study has demonstrated that the porosity and the drained compressibility of the tested material and the ratio of the volume of the drainage system to the one of the tested sample are the key parameters which influence the most the error induced on the measurements by the drainage system.


The undrained condition is defined theoretically as a condition in which there is no change in the fluid mass of the porous material. For performing an undrained test in the laboratory, this condition cannot be achieved just by closing the valves of the drainage system as it is done classically in a conventional triaxial system (Figure (1)). The variations of the volume of the drainage system and of the fluid filling the drainage system induce a fluid flow into or out of the sample to achieve pressure equilibrium between the sample and the drainage system. This fluid mass exchanged between the sample and the drainage system modifies the measured pore pressure and consequently the measured strains during the test. Wissa (1969) and Bishop (1976) were the first who studied this problem for a mechanical undrained loading and presented a method for correction of the measured pore pressure.

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